Back to Basics

A focus on education is necessary to keep the industry moving forward.

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As the New Year kicks off, we need to remember the importance of continually educating the water and sewer providers and consultants responsible for keeping our infrastructure operational.

At NASSCO, the National Association of Sewer Service Companies, our core goal is to improve the success rate of everyone involved in the pipeline rehabilitation industry through education, technical resources and industry advocacy. Providing technical resources and industry advocacy is an important part of the picture, but to reach this goal we must continue to focus on the importance of education.

Professionals in both the public and private sectors need to be aware of the technologies available so they can specify the most appropriate and cost-effective means to meet their needs. For the past 12 years, NASSCO has presented the "RehabZone," a hands-on interactive educational experience focused on the rehabilitation of sewer and water infrastructure. The event is held every year at the annual Underground Construction Technology (UCT) conference. It is planned, staffed and sponsored by NASSCO members, but the cornerstone to its success is the "no-sell" philosophy. That philosophy allows participants to focus on specific technologies without sales spins toward specific products and manufacturers. I invite you to learn more about the RehabZone at

We realize everyone can't make it to these major conferences, so the RehabZone Technology Guide is also available. This guide provides concise explanations of new (and not so new) rehabilitation technologies and is updated every year by NASSCO's RehabZone Committee. It serves as an excellent reference for professionals either starting out in the industry or those interested in the latest technologies available, and can be obtained by contacting NASSCO directly.

Another highly educational experience is the Sewer History Exhibit, which is displayed annually at both UCT and WEFTEC. This exhibit provides the largest collection of historically significant water and sewer pipes, tools and equipment, as well as displays showing early sewer challenges and designs. You can see many of the artifacts, timelines, articles and even "Sewers in the News" by visiting

Finally, the NASSCO website ( also provides a wealth of educational tools to help further our mission to set industry standards. The three-part "PACP Preview" provides a broad overview of the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP) and includes some images and CCTV clips to introduce viewers to pipeline assessment. NASSCO's work with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to successfully incorporate PACP into their "Operations Challenge" has required the production of PACP quizzes that can be used by managers to assess and develop their CCTV operators. It can also be used by PACP users to hone their skills.

The NASSCO website also offers a free webinar for Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP) that can be found under the "ITCP" logo on the home page.

Highlights of the NASSCO Jetter Training Video can be found on the NASSCO home page as well. The full video is available for purchase, or for free with a NASSCO membership.

You can also find a variety of general specifications on along with those specific to our divisions, the Infiltration Control Grouting Association (ICGA) and International Pipe Bursting Association (IPBA).

Moving forward in 2013, NASSCO plans to work more closely with the WEF Collection Systems Committee to develop free webcasts about underground technologies, starting with "Facts About the Use of Chemical Grouting," which will involve discussion about the new Grouting Specification introduced by the ICGA. NASSCO continues to develop a relationship with WEF, and we hope to see more NASSCO participation at WEFTEC and the regional WEF collections conferences throughout the year.

In a previous article, I spoke about NASSCO's strategic planning efforts. During that process, we took a hard look at NASSCO's core goal and found it to be as relevant today as it was when it was developed years ago. In a time when municipalities are doing more with less, the free educational opportunities mentioned here are NASSCO's way of giving back to the industry and promoting our mission to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies.

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at


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